James Spann: Clouds hang around Alabama Wednesday, with a few showers

CLOUDY, COOL, DAMP SEPTEMBER DAY: Clouds linger over the northern half of Alabama this afternoon with areas of light rain and drizzle; temperatures are only in the low to mid 60s, a good 20 degrees below average for mid-September in Alabama. South Alabama is cloud-free with temperatures in the low 80s.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Tomorrow will be another mostly cloudy day with the risk of a few showers; the high will be in the 68- to 72-degree range. Then, the weather will be brighter and warmer Thursday and Friday with a good supply of sunshine both days along with highs back in the low to mid 80s. Showers on these two days should be hard to find.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Warm, mostly dry weather continues Saturday and Sunday. The sky will be partly sunny both days with highs well up in the 80s. Moisture levels will creep up and a shower or two is possible, but they should be few and far between, and mostly during the afternoon and evening hours.

NEXT WEEK: An upper high will hold over the Southeast, meaning warm, mostly dry weather through the week with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. A shower might pop up on a day or two, but no sign of widespread rain.

HURRICANE JOSE: It is packing sustained winds of 75 mph in the Atlantic well north of Puerto Rico and east of the Bahamas; it will weaken into a tropical storm and loop around before heading north as a hurricane.

Guidance from global models suggests this will remain offshore and not impact the East Coast of the United States, but it is still a little too early to know the final destination.

ON THIS DATE IN 1979: Frederic made landfall on the Alabama Gulf Coast, passing over Dauphin Island, and crossed the coastline near the Alabama/Mississippi border. A wind gust of 145 mph was measured on equipment atop the Dauphin Island Bridge. The bridge was destroyed. A wind gust of 139 mph was measured at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab before the equipment failed. A storm surge of 12 feet was observed in Gulf Shores. Nearly all structures within 200 yards of the Alabama coast were destroyed. Total damages were $2.3 billion, making Frederic the most expensive hurricane to strike the United States up to that point.

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